Thursday, October 11, 2007

Atkins, Schmatkins

In order to supplement my pitiable cooking abilities, I eat one meal per day in the Intern’s House. It is usually classic Ugandan food.

What is classic Ugandan food? Apparently, starch, starch, and starchy starch, with starch on the side. Also with a little meat. There is Ugali, which I have not yet tried, but I am told is akin to eating cement and could actually be considered the opposite of flavor; antiflavor, if you will. There is matoke, which is a thick mush of plantain, only less sweet. White rice is in abundance. There is a white mushy thing made of maize that I kind of like- it has the consistency of thick, solidified cream of wheat. There is ground nuts (I think that’s what they’re saying) which is literally purple, and looks like babaghanoush (only purple), and tastes, well, nutty. There are also potatoes, of the “Irish” variety, or sweet potato (which is yellow, not our usual orange). And today, to spice it up, there were some noodles. You usually have at least 3 or 4 of these starches in one meal. All of the starch dishes require a sauce, which here is called “soup” (confusing, as they tell you it’s soup, but then they pour it all over your plate), and is usually a thin meat-based broth. Then there is meat, which can be beef, goat, pork, chicken or fish.

Personally, I like this meal option. It's much better than anything I can cook, and starch is delicious (if there's soup). Once, also, there was an eggplant dish that was nicely salted and really, really good. I have been waiting for it to come back again.

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